Plant breeders and pig feeders to work together on new cereals development

The potential to breed cereals to enhance their feeding value for use in pig production is to be the focus of a meeting to be held in November at Newcastle University’s Cocklepark Farm.

The aim is to generate new ideas and gain a better understanding of how plant breeders and producers can work together to feed pigs in the future.  Instead of merely classifying feed crops as commodities, leading plant breeder, Chris Tapsell, believes there are huge opportunities to “develop crops that add value and additional benefits for feed producers and farmers alike”.

Speaking in his role as KWS UK’s research director, he told delegates to this year’s BPEX innovation conference that he was looking for feeds that ticked the boxes of sustainability, efficiency and nutrition.

“If relationships can be developed between producers, feed companies and breeders, we can develop plant breeding targets together and establish an added value supply chain,” he said, adding that he saw the best opportunity for such combined action resting with maize, wheat and hybrid rye.

The Cocklepark meeting will be held on the afternoon of November 24 and all day on the 25th. Producers who aren’t able to attend are invited to send their thoughts on the issue to Mr Tapsell.

Further meeting details are available from the Knowledge Transfer Network via jean.phillips@ktn-uk.org

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